Have you ever seen the first five minutes of a zombie movie, when the zombies stumble around, groaning, uttering nonsense, bumping into things while causing general chaos with their mindlessness?
I haven’t, but I assume it goes something like that.
I recently lived through midterms. Countless tests, long study hours, events and meetings and no time to sleep. The duration left me feeling a little less energetic, and a little more zombie-like.
Each morning, I woke up after six alarms — yes, six — and stumbled around, trying to pull something out of my closet that actually matched. Not “looks cute” matched, but legitimately could be paired — like jeans and a shirt, as opposed to two shirts and a sock. After that, I attempted to put them on, which took a good 10 minutes, because my too-tired brain couldn’t seem to remember pants go on legs and shirts cover the top half.
Then, I stumbled down the hall to the bathrooms, probably scaring half of the people in my residence hall who were tired enough to believe there was an actual zombie wandering the halls. I may or may not have run into the couch in the lounge on my way out, because, let’s face it, I’m not terribly graceful … especially in the morning. I tried to avoid looking at my face in the mirror because goodness knows it was not a pretty sight. I brushed my teeth, praying no one came in while I was there, because that’s just one more person who’s not going to be able to watch “Dawn of the Dead” again without having compounded nightmares.
During the day, my zombie-ness was only slightly reduced. I could just barely tolerate sunlight, but I could make it through my day. When I arrived at each class I was met with a slightly conscious person, but only just. I don’t sleep through classes, but my tired brain was barely able to retain anything past the fact that I still needed to be studying for another class as soon as that one was finished. Like a zombie, I was not completely dead, but I was barely there, occasionally mumbling nonsense and easily distracted.
That’s all I could do to get through tests without sleeping. After that, I just answered questions, filled out scantrons and left as soon as possible to a place where there was a bed and a pillow with my name on it. At a point, I stopped caring if the answers were correct or not. My brain spewed ridiculousness, and it was hard enough to pick up a pencil at that point.
Then finally, mercifully, the weekend came, and I didn’t know what to do. I continued to stumble, muttering words about food and sleep, running into things and scaring the poor souls who have to live near me.
And then the realization hit — it was the weekend. Tests were done. I didn’t have to study. I didn’t have to sit in class for the next two days. I was free. And then the most important realization: I could sleep.
And so I went to bed, finally reunited with the pillow that had been so patiently waiting for me. I hoped when I woke (probably two days from then) I would be much less a zombie and much more a regular person.